The National Bank Palace (1890)
In the context of the country’s national and political revival after the Union in 1859, the project of a National Bank became a first priority. The chosen site was Serban Voda Inn, located in the core of the city, itself bearing a commercial tradition 200 years old, but in an advanced state of decay at the time.
The work was commissioned to two of the most renowned architects of the time, the French Albert Galleron and the Swiss Cassien Bernard (student and collaborator of Charles Garnier, the author of the Opera in Paris), who designed a Neo-Classical style edifice with an expressive façade, which still impresses by equilibrium and distinction. With good reason, the great Romanian architect Ion Mincu stated that this is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest!
In front of the Bank can be seen, protected by glass, part of the vaulted cellars of the former Serban Voda Inn (Prince Serban Inn). Beneath the streets, throughout the entire historical area of the city, lay deep cellars, basements and galleries, often communicating between them -reminiscent of the medieval city Bucharest once was.